Sunbathers in Japan will have another beach- or pool-friendly keitai (phone) to carry around this summer. Simply known as the Solar Phone SH002, a 10-minute exposure to direct sunlight will yield one minute of talktime or two hours of standby.
Of course, the mileage you get is dependent on factors like the intensity of solar radiation and cloud cover. But you should be able to juice up the battery to 80 percent of its capacity if left outdoors long enough. There’s even a Flash animation app that tells you how fast your phone is charging with a growing number of animals onscreen as the radiation gets more intense.
The SH002–available only from KDDI in Japan starting May 29–is waterproof as well. In other words, you won’t have to worry if the handset takes an accidental dive. Also interesting are the sports-related applications. You can configure a health and fitness program tailored to your lifestyle, learn to play golf on 2,300 preset courses, and check the number of calories you’ve burned. Too bad this doesn’t measure the UVs you’re soaking up even as it’s charging up.